“The Real Life of Sebastian Knight” Nabokov in brief summary

“The Real Life of Sebastian Knight” Nabokov in brief summary

“Sebastian Knight was born on December 31, 1899 in the former capital of my fatherland” – this is the first phrase of the book. Her younger brother Knight, pronounced in the novel by the letter “V.”, pronounces it. Sebastian Knight, the famous writer, a native of Russia, who wrote in English, died in January 1936 in a hospital in the Paris suburb of Saint-Damier. V. restores the true life of his brother, collecting it in pieces – so in the eyes of the reader creates this intricate and complex novel.

In the case of V. Sebastian, he is a common father, an officer of the Russian guard. The first marriage he had been married to the voracious, restless Englishwoman Virginia Knight. In love, she left her husband with a four-year-old son in her arms. In

1905, the father married again, and soon the world appeared V. The six-year age difference for children is especially significant, and in the eyes of the younger brother the elder appeared to be adored and mysterious.

Virginia died of a heart attack in 1909. Four years later, his father, ridiculous to say, started a duel because of her, Sebastian was heavily involved and in his work resorted to parody, “as a sort of flip chart allowing to fly into the higher spheres of serious emotions “.

In Goodman’s office, V. accidentally gets acquainted with Helen Pratt: she is friends with Sebastian’s lover Clare Bishop. The story of this love is built up from the pictures that V. imagined after comparing the stories of Pratt with the stories of another friend of Sebastian. In addition, V. accidentally saw on a London street married and pregnant Claire, she is destined to die from bleeding. It turns out that their connection lasted about six years. During this time, Sebastian wrote two first novels and three stories. Claire was an ideal friend for a young writer – intelligent, sensitive, with imagination. She learned to print and helped him in everything. They also had a small black bulldog… In 1929, on the advice of a doctor, Sebastian left to heal his heart at a resort in Blauberg. There he fell

in love, and on this their relationship with Clare ended.

In Sebastian’s autobiographical book, The Lost Things he started at that time, there is a letter that can be read as an appeal to Claire: “I always think that there is some secret defect in love… I have not stopped loving you, but because I can not, as before, kiss your pretty gloomy face, we need to part… I will never forget you and I can not replace anyone… with you I was happy, now I’m unhappy with another.. . “Throughout almost the entire second half of the novel, V. is busy searching for this other woman – he seems to have seen ee talking to her, he learns about Sebastian something important. Who is she? It is known that in London Sebastian received letters written in Russian, from a woman whom he met at Blauberg. But, fulfilling the posthumous will of his brother, V. burned all his papers.

V.’s trip to Blauberg does not give anything, but on the way back he meets a strange little man, the Man gets for V. a list of guests at the Beaumont hotel in Blauberg in June 1929, and he marks four women’s names – each of them could belong to a sweetheart brother. V. sent to the addresses.

Frau Helen Gerstein, an elegant and delicate Jewess who lives in Berlin, has never heard of Sebastian Nate. But in her house, V. meets Sebastian’s classmate; a classmate turns out to be the elder brother of Sebastian’s first love – Natasha Rozanova.

In the house of Madame de Rechnoy in Paris, W. finds Pal Palich River and his cousin Black. It turns out that Nina Rechnaya is the first wife of Pal Palycha, with whom he has long been separated. Apparently, this person is eccentric, eccentric and inclined to adventures. Doubt that a woman of this type could attract Sebastian, V. goes to the fashionable quarter of Paris – there lives another “suspect”, Ellen von Graun. He is met by Madame Lecerf, who called herself von Graun. She promises to find out everything that is possible.

The next day, Madame Lecerff tells W. how her friend fascinated Sebastian: firstly, she liked it, and besides, it seemed amusing to make such an intellectual engage in her love with her. When he finally realized that he could not live without her, she realized that she could no longer endure his conversations, and abandoned him. Hearing all this, V. even more wants to meet with von Graun, and Madame Leserf invites him to the weekend to his village, promising that the mysterious lady will certainly come there.

In a huge, old, neglected house, there are people who are intimately connected with each other. Reflecting on the mysterious stranger, V. suddenly feels an attraction to Madame Leserf. As if in response, she reports how she once kissed a man just because he knew how to sign upside down… V. recalls Cousin Black and understands everything! In order to test his guess, he quietly in Russian pronounces behind the back of Madame Leserf: “And she has a spider on her neck” – and the imaginary Frenchwoman, and in fact – Nina Rechnaya, immediately grabs her hand by the neck. Without any explanations, V. leaves. In the last book of Sebastian “The Obscure Asphodel,” the characters are on the scene and disappear, and the protagonist dies throughout the narrative. This theme now converges with the theme of the book “The Real Life of Sebastian Knight,” which is almost finished by V. before our very eyes. But he recalls how, in mid-January 1936, he received from his brother an alarming letter written, oddly enough, in Russian. At night, V. saw an extremely unpleasant dream – Sebastian calls him “the last, persistent call,” but I can not make out the words. In the evening of the next day, a telegram came: “The state of Sebastian is hopeless…” With large scavenging V. reached Saint-Damien. He sits in the ward of his sleeping brother, listens to his breathing and realizes that Sebastian finds out more than ever in those moments. However, there was an error: V. got into the wrong room and spent the night at the bed of a stranger. And Sebastian died the day before his arrival. saw an extremely unpleasant dream – Sebastian calls him “the last, persevering call,” that’s just words can not be disassembled. In the evening of the next day, a telegram came: “The state of Sebastian is hopeless…” With large scavenging V. reached Saint-Damien. He sits in the ward of his sleeping brother, listens to his breathing and realizes that Sebastian finds out more than ever in those moments. However, there was an error: V. got into the wrong room and spent the night at the bed of a stranger. And Sebastian died the day before his arrival. saw an extremely unpleasant dream – Sebastian calls him “the last, persevering call,” that’s just words can not be disassembled. In the evening of the next day, a telegram came: “The state of Sebastian is hopeless…” With large scavenging V. reached Saint-Damien. He sits in the ward of his sleeping brother, listens to his breathing and realizes that Sebastian finds out more than ever in those moments. However, there was an error: V. got into the wrong room and spent the night at the bed of a stranger. And Sebastian died the day before his arrival. that at this moment Sebastian will know more than ever. However, there was an error: V. got into the wrong room and spent the night at the bed of a stranger. And Sebastian died the day before his arrival. that at this moment Sebastian will know more than ever. However, there was an error: V. got into the wrong room and spent the night at the bed of a stranger. And Sebastian died the day before his arrival.

But “any soul can become yours if you catch it and follow it.” Mysterious words at the end of the novel: “I am Sebastian Knight or Sebastian Knight – it’s me, or maybe we are both – someone else whom neither of us know” – can be interpreted as the fact that both brothers – these are different incarnations of the authentic author of “The Real Life of Sebastian Knight,” that is, Vladimir Nabokov. Or maybe it’s better to leave them unsolved.


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“The Real Life of Sebastian Knight” Nabokov in brief summary